Jonathan Mannion’s résumé speaks for itself.
Having lensed some of the most seminal artists alive, Mannion has contributed such album covers as JAY-Z’s Reasonable Doubt, Eminem’s The Marshall Mathers LP, Lil Wayne’s Tha Carter II, and so many more for artists like Gucci Mane, The Game, Rick Ross, Aaliyah, and Outkast, to name only a few. Mannion’s creative output has surely established him as one of the most foundational photographers working.
Last weekend, Mannion opened the doors to new exhibition titled Living Proof, hosted in partnership with STUDIOLO Berlin and Lukas Feireiss. The retrospective offered a rare glimpse into the workflow of Mannion from the 1990s to present, displayed via a selection of original contact sheets. The proof or contact sheet is a direct print of a roll or sequence of negatives, which is essentially the photographer’s first look at what he has captured on film, and provides a unique look at moments that would otherwise never see the light of day.
We caught up with Mannion in Berlin, where he shared some never-before-heard anecdotes from album cover shoots for Rick Ross’ Deeper Than Rap (2009), Sum 41’s All Killer No Filler (2001), Gucci Mane’s Everybody Looking (2016), JAY-Z’s In My Lifetime, Vol. 1 (1997), and DJ Khaled’s Grateful (2017).
Watch out for an extended cut coming soon, featuring further anecdotes from album cover shoots with Dipset, Ludacris, Eminem and others.